The U.S. military has a big footprint in Hawaii, so it makes sense that it’s playing an outsized role in the state’s renewable-energy push. Earlier this year we told you about the new smart-charging micro-grid system at Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii; now comes word that work has begun on construction of one of the state’s largest solar installations at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Hickam Communities owner and manager Lend Lease and solar developer SolarCity said the project will put solar panels on 600 rooftops on base housing. With a generating capacity of 4 megawatts, the project is expected to produce around 5.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to power 2,000 military homes. The developers said it was another step in the right direction as the Air Force pursues its goal of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025.
This is the second solar-powered community on an Air Force base, joining Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. This new installation in Hawaii will provide 55 new jobs over the 2 year construction phase. The energy has been purchased by Hawaii Electric Company under a 20-year contract with SolarCity.
“Entering into this power purchase agreement with support from Air Force leadership has given us an opportunity to give back to our families today and into the future,” said Jerry Schmitz, project director of Hickam Communities. “In addition to reducing emissions, money saved can go back into maintaining our community and providing services and programs for our families.”